Kyrie Irving.

Kyrie Irving strongly defends his comments on importance of an NBA title and a Gold Medal

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Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has the opportunity to add his name to an exclusive and unique group of players this summer.

Fresh off winning his first NBA championship, the 24-year-old can add an Olympic Gold Medal to his personal trophy cabinet in the same year as he's currently competing for Team USA at the Games in Rio. Only 11 players have achieved this feat, including his current Cavs teammate LeBron James.

Earlier this week Irving was asked which of the two milestones would rank as the best, to which he replied, "they're pretty much the same."

To Cavaliers fans, who had waited 46 years for the franchise to win its first title, the answer wasn't what they would've expected and it didn't go down too well in other quarters too.

Irving, though, decided to take to Snapchat to explain his comments and defend himself.

“There was a statement released earlier that I thought that an NBA championship and a gold medal was the same thing. What’s great about that is that it’s my opinion, meaning that I, personally, feel that way," he said.

"It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it. I know that the journeys are different between getting a gold medal and winning an NBA championship; the competition is different, there are a lot of things that factor. In terms of the feeling and the accomplishment, in my opinion — for me — they’re almost the same, because neither one is guaranteed.

Basketball - Olympics: Day 5

"There’s no guarantee that we’re gonna win a gold medal. There’s no guarantee going into the season that you’re going to win an NBA championship. So, for me, I appreciate the journey and the reward. And I’ve lived my way on my terms, and I will continue to do so. It’s funny to see all the different opinions and thoughts on it. But for me personally, it’s an accomplishment that I will remember for the rest of my life, if it happens.”

It's a debate that has rumbled on for many years among both players and fans. The honour of representing your country comes first for many players, but it's impossible to find a right or wrong answer. It's simply a preference for those who play the game.

If he's hoisting the Gold Medal at the conclusion of the Olympics, Kyrie certainly won't care which accomplishment ranks higher as he'll revel in his glory.

Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
LeBron James

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